Trump’s $5B Border Wall Request Equals 0.11% of Federal Spending

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 30, 2018 | 3:35pm EST
A prototype section of border wall under construction along the U.S.-Mexico border in California, Oct. 5, 2017. (Getty Images/Sandy Huffaker)

( - President Donald Trump’s $5 billion request for funds to use building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border equals 0.11 percent of the estimated $4.5 trillion the federal government is expected to spend this fiscal year.

According to the Monthly Treasury Statement for October, the Office of Management and Budget has estimated that the federal government will spend a total of $4,509,641,000,000 in fiscal 2019, which started on Oct. 1.

President Trump is now asking Congress to approve $5 billion in the fiscal 2019 Department of Homeland Security appropriation to fund border wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That $5,000,000,000 would equal 0.11 percent of the anticipated total federal spending of $4,509,641,000,000.

To put the president’s border wall request in perspective, the federal government spent $5.587 billion in the month of October alone for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, AKA food stamps. Thus, funding food stamps for just the first month of fiscal 2019 cost more than Trump’s entire fiscal 2019 request for border wall funding.

Over all of fiscal 2018, the federal government spent $68,493,00,000 on food stamps, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. Thus, the most recent full year of the food stamp program cost about 13.7 times as much as Trump’s border wall request.

The Homeland Security Appropriation bill that the House Appropriations Committee approved in July included $5,000,000,000 for the border wall.

“The bill includes $5,000,000,000 for new border technology and the construction of over $200 miles of new barriers to fill critical gaps along our Southwest border,” says the committee’s report on the bill.

The version of the Homeland Security Appropriation approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, however, says that only “$1,600,000,000 shall be available for approximately 65 miles of pedestrian fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) indicated this week that he will not support $5 billion for the border wall.

“[T]he $1.6 billion for border security negotiated by Democrats and Republicans is our position,” Schumer said at a Tuesday press briefing. “We believe that is the right way to go. … [I]f there’s any shutdown, it’s on the President Trump’s staff.”

“The Republicans are in control of the presidency, the House and the Senate, a shutdown is on their back,” said Schumer. “Stick to the $1.6 billion.”

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